244 Following

SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
Paul Watson
Progress: 6 %
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
Ed Yong
Progress: 40 %
Wizard's First Rule
Terry Goodkind
Progress: 49 %
Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
Tracy Borman
Progress: 14 %
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
Helen Czerski
Progress: 20 %
The Hanover Square Affair
Ashley Gardner
Progress: 10 %
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
Beth Archer Brombert, Massimo Montanari
Progress: 10 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 pages

The Doorbell Rang, by Rex Stout

The Doorbell Rang - Rex Stout, Stuart M. Kaminsky

Apparently Rex Stout, who was a left-leaning New Dealer (but hated communism), had many a brush with the FBI, and their director, J. Edgar Hoover, and they had a file on him (which he may well have suspected).  He was tremendously offended by the Bureau's extralegal activities, and took his revenge in 1965 with this novel, The Doorbell Rang.


Rachel Bruner is wealthier than God, and, appalled by what she read in The FBI Nobody Knows (a real book, by the way), sends 10,000 copies of it, gratis, to the most prominent and influential people she can think of.


And gets on the FBI's enemies list.


They tap her phone.  They tail her, her secretary, and her other employees, and make their lives miserable via a phony "background check."


She calls on Mr. Wolfe, and retains him, to frustrate the FBI, for $100,000 plus expenses (real money in 1965!).


Nero Wolfe vs. the FBI?  The smart money, of course, is on Mr. Wolfe, of course!


Aside from the fun of this general concept, we also get a murder investigation, paranoia at the brownstone over wiretapping, orchards and gourmet dinners used creatively, and a little spot of breaking and entering in Archie's free time.


A fun installment in the series.


(After Stout published this novel, the size of his FBI file doubled, according to the Church Commission of the 1970s.)